Word of the Day: earsplitting


Word of the Day:
earsplitting

Definition: (adjective) Loud and shrill enough to hurt the ears.
Synonyms: deafening, thunderous
Usage: When the little boy throws a tantrum, he lets loose with the most fearful, earsplitting screams.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

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Once Again, the UN Raises Its Anti-Semitic Head | The Stream (why is the USA PAYING so much money for a organization that sustains state terrorism?)


https://stream.org/once-again-the-un-raises-its-anti-semitic-head/

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra
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AP Photo/Khalil Hamra 2347

Once Again, the UN Raises Its Anti-Semitic Head
AP Photo/Khalil Hamra
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By MICHAEL BROWN
June 15, 2018 • 1 Comment

Michael Brown
It’s one thing to bring fair criticisms against Israel. It’s another thing to single out Israel for unrelenting, biased, and unfair criticism. And when someone constantly treats Israel unfairly and brings false accusations against the nation, that goes beyond anti-Zionism. It crosses the line into anti-Semitism. The UN has crossed that line time and time again.

Total Distortion
As noted by Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini, “There is a place, indeed a vital place, for publicizing facts and advancing criticism. The problem lies in maintaining a sense of proportion. When the loaded term of opprobrium ‘apartheid’ is regularly attached to garden-variety cases of discrimination, when the various organs of the United Nations condemn Israel more than any other state in the world, when Amnesty International and other bodies zero in on Israel more than on any other country — the result is total distortion.”

And that total distortion has deadly consequences.

Resolutions Against Israel
Regarding the UN, Yemini notes that “in 2012, the UN General Assembly passed 22 resolutions against Israel, in contrast to four against the rest of the world. In 2015, the General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism — and only three resolutions regarding the rest of the world combined.

“As of 2010, since its inception in 2006, the UN Human Rights Council has adopted 33 resolutions against specific countries, of which 27 were against Israel. In 2013, the Council adopted 25 resolutions, four for all the other countries in the world and 21 against Israel.

“Hundreds of thousands of people around the world were victims of tyrannical regimes, and countless massacres and pogroms were committed. Israel did not commit even a fraction of these misdeeds, but it has been condemned more than any other country, perhaps more than all other countries combined” (Industry of Lies: Media, Academia, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict).

This has been the UN’s pattern for decades. And it was not about to break form this week, when it passed yet another anti-Israel resolution.

One-Sided Vote
This time the UN condemned Israel for “excessive use of force” against Gazan border protesters. It failed even to mention the provocations of Hamas terrorists. The vote was 120 nations for, 8 nations against, and 45 abstaining.

As reported by the Washington Post, “The U.N. General Assembly approved a Palestinian-backed resolution Wednesday blaming Israel for violence in Gaza and deploring its ‘excessive use of force,’ after narrowly rejecting a U.S. demand to add a condemnation of attacks on Israel by Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

“The votes reflected wide concern in the 193-member world body that the resolution sponsored by Arab and Islamic nations was one-sided and failed to even mention Hamas, which has fired over 100 rockets at Israel.”

Unpeaceful Protests

But Hamas not only fired rockets at Israel. It rallied tens of thousands of protesters whose goal was to break down the boundary fence and attack and kill Israelis. In the words of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, “We will take down Israel’s border and tear out Israeli hearts from their bodies.” Those sound like violent, fighting words to me.

In truth, these were anything but peaceful protests, and Israel did its level best to stop the violence before it happened. As noted by the Jerusalem Institute for Justice:

The Hamas terror

organization led another round of its confrontation campaign from Gaza against Israel. Orchestrated by Hamas, approximately 40,000 rioters gathered at the border and several thousand tried to storm into Israel at 13 locations.
The rioters hurled firebombs and explosive devices, burned tires, threw rocks and launched flaming objects with the intention of igniting fires in Israeli territory, breaking into Israeli villages, and harming Israeli security officers.
Israel made relentless efforts to prevent the masses from violently breaching the border. These included early warnings (by leaflets, direct phone calls, on radio and social media), as well as the use of non-lethal means (water cannons, tear gas, smoke grenades, rubber bullets).
Inflamed and violent crowds cannot be allowed to storm the border fence, opening a way to infiltrate into Israeli towns and threaten Israeli civilians.
But when it comes to Israel and the UN, there is only one side. It’s the anti-Israel side, which is often a close neighbor to the anti-Semitic side. Israel (= the Jewish nation) is always in the wrong.

The U.S. Response
Thankfully, under the Trump administration, and with the able leadership of Ambassador Nikki Haley, there has been a vigorous response to UN bias. As Haley remarked after the vote, “In the face of Hamas terrorists routinely inciting violence, firing over a hundred rockets into Israeli communities, and even attacking the crossing point that brings humanitarian supplies into Gaza, today the UN made the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, shared similar sentiments. “The hypocrisy of the General Assembly,” he noted, “knows no bounds as anti-Israel elements deceitfully blocked the condemnation of Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization. This was a badge of shame for the UN.”

The good news (what little good news there is after this latest fiasco) is that there was a strong effort to single out Hamas for its terrorist activities. However, the US-led effort did not pass. Still, as Haley noted, “a plurality of 62 countries voted in favor of the U.S.-led effort to address Hamas’s responsibility for the disastrous conditions in Gaza. We had more countries on the right side than the wrong side.”

That, for sure, is a positive sign. Forgive me, though, if I’m not holding my breath, expecting the UN to turn on a dime and begin to treat Israel fairly. Past history gives me cause to remain skeptical.

I would love to be proven wrong.
© 2018 The Stream. All Rights Reserved.

President Trump tweeted: Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!


Check out @realDonaldTrump’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1007972046666690561?s=09

Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!

White House aides reportedly tried to ignore Trump’s request to set up a meeting with Putin – AOL News


http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-wants-summit-meeting-with-putin-2018-6

White House aides reportedly tried to ignore Trump’s request to set up a meeting with Putin
AOL.COM 2 hrs ago
President Donald Trump reportedly asked aides to set up a US-Russia summit after an informal chat with Vladimir Putin in November.
Top aides from the National Security Council reportedly sidelined Trump’s request by ignoring and waiting to see if he brought the subject again.
Trump has been criticized for his outreach to Russia, particularly after the Obama administration severed US-Russian ties following Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Trump is reportedly expected to meet Putin during the NATO summit in July.
Top aides from the National Security Council reportedly sidelined President Donald Trump’s request for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin by ignoring and waiting to see if he brought the subject again, according to a Washington Post report published on Friday.

Trump privately asked aides to set up a US-Russia meeting after an informal chat with Putin during the the Asia-Pacific summit at Vietnam in November, US officials said. Trump shook hands and spoke briefly with Putin.

“After that meeting, the president said he wanted to invite Putin to the White House,” one official said to The Post. “We ignored it.”

National Security Council aides were reportedly hesitant to oblige that request, and decided to “wait and see if he raises it again,” an official told The Post.

Trump has been criticized for his outreach to Russia before, during, and after his 2016 election, because of that country’s role in meddling with the US electorate via elaborate influence campaigns on social media. In March, public backlash was especially fierce after Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his reelection victory, a move that Trump’s aides advised against. Some lawmakers sought to remind Trump that elections aren’t exactly fair in Russia.

“I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also),” Trump claimed in a tweet following the widespread rebuke.

Trump is expected to meet Putin for the NATO summit in July, several officials said to The Post. On Friday, Trump told reporters that a summit with Putin could be “possible.”

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No delay for Trump in ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s lawsuit – AOL News


https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/14/no-delay-for-trump-in-apprentice-contestantsm-lawsuit/23459319/
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No delay for Trump in ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s lawsuit

Thomson Reuters
JONATHAN STEMPEL
Jun 14th 2018 3:01PM

NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) – New York state’s highest court on Thursday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest bid to avoid potentially having to answer questions under oath in a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on his television show “The Apprentice.”

The state’s Court of Appeals dismissed Trump’s request to halt Summer Zervos’ lawsuit for calling her a liar after she accused him of sexual misconduct.

It said the underlying ruling from which Trump was appealing was not a final ruling, warranting the appeal’s dismissal.

Trump and his lawyer Marc Kasowitz have argued that the U.S. Constitution deprives state courts of jurisdiction over sitting presidents and that Trump is immune from lawsuits over private conduct predating his entering the White House.

RELATED: Donald Trump with ‘The Apprentice’ creator Mark Burnett

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Donald Trump with ‘The Apprentice’ creator Mark Burnett
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Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during NBC 2003-2004 Upfront at The Metropolitan Opera House lincoln Center in New York City, New York USA. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
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New York real estate mogul Donald Trump (L) and TV producer Mark Burnett talk to reporters, April 8, 2003 in New York City. Burnett is producing a new reality TV show for NBC called, ‘The Apprentice,’ where the winner will win a six-figure apprenticeship within the Trump Organization. (Photo by Jeff Christensen/WireImage)
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Donald Trump, Clive Davis and Mark Burnett during Wyclef Jean Listening Party for His New Album ‘The Preachers Son’ at Hudson Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)
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LOS ANGELES – JULY 10: Executive Producers of ‘The Apprentice’ Donald Trump (L) and Mark Burnett speak with the press at the 2004 TCA Summer Press Tour at the Century Plaza Hotel on June 10, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown)
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LOS ANGELES – JULY 10: (L to R) Executive Producers Donald Trump, Mark Burnett, Vice Presidents of the Trump Organization George H. Ross and Carolyn Kepcher of ‘The Apprentice’ speak with the press at the 2004 TCA Summer Press Tour at the Century Plaza Hotel on June 10, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES – SEPTEMBER 19: Producers Mark Burnett and Donald Trump attend the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 19, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Roma Downey, Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and Melania Knauss with guests (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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Donald Trump, Billy Bush and Mark Burnett (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – SEPTEMBER 20: (L-R) Creator/Executive Producer Mark Burnett, Mr. Trump’s fiancee Melania Knauss, and businessman Donald Trump attend the Museum of Television and Radio presents ‘The Apprentice’ at the Museum of Television and Radio on September 20, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
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Group portrait of, from left, American boxing promoter Don King, businessman Donald Trump, and television producer Mark Burnett as they pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 2005. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
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Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during ‘The Apprentice’ Finale- Arrivals at California Mart in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during Donald Trump Recruiting Search for the Next ‘Apprentice’ at Universal Studios Hollywood at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
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Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during Donald Trump Honored With a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in front of Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Tran/FilmMagic)
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NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Moderator Erin Burnett, Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump, producer Mark Burnett and Ivanka Trump attend the Paley Center for Media’s presentation of ‘The Apprentice’ on September 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Steven A Henry/WireImage)
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Donald Trump and Mark Burnett (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)
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TODAY — Pictured: (l-r) Mark Burnett and Donald Trump appear on NBC News’ ‘Today’ show — Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
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Thursday’s order marked the third time Trump failed to end Zervos’ lawsuit or at least delay it until after he left office.

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Emily Thall, a spokeswoman for Kasowitz, said Thursday’s order was on “purely procedural grounds” and did not address the merits of Trump’s case.

Mariann Wang, a lawyer for Zervos, said: “We look forward to continuing the discovery process and exposing the truth.”

Zervos, an “Apprentice” contestant in 2005, accused Trump of kissing her against her will at a 2007 meeting in New York and later groping her at a Beverly Hills hotel.

She came forward in October 2016, the month before Trump was elected, and soon after the release of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” recording in which Trump spoke in vulgar terms about women.

Several women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct or having had affairs with them. Trump has denied wrongdoing.

At a June 5 hearing, Justice Jennifer Schecter of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan set a Jan. 31, 2019 deadline for the completion of depositions in the Zervos case, without directing that Trump be questioned.

Kasowitz said at the hearing he might ask the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether Trump can be sued in state court. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Tom Brown )

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US returns stolen 525-year-old Columbus letter to Vatican – AOL News


https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/14/us-returns-stolen-525-year-old-columbus-letter-to-vatican/23459506/
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US returns stolen 525-year-old Columbus letter to Vatican

Thomson Reuters
PHILIP PULLELLA
Jun 14th 2018 9:11PM

VATICAN CITY, June 14 (Reuters) – A 525-year-old copy of a letter by Christopher Columbus that was stolen from the Vatican was returned on Thursday after joint sleuthing by U.S. Homeland Security agents and Holy See antiquity experts.

“We are returning it to its rightful owner,” said U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, at a handover ceremony in a frescoed room of the Vatican Library, which houses tens of thousands of rare, historic items.

While still at sea returning to Europe in February, 1493 – four months after discovering the New World – Columbus penned a letter to Spain’s monarchs describing what he had found and laying the groundwork for his request to fund another voyage.

His original letter was written in Spanish. A Latin translation was manually printed in several copies and they became the main vehicle for spreading news of his find to the royal courts of Europe and the papacy.

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US returns stolen Christopher Columbus letter to Vatican
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Monsignor Cesare Pasini, chief of the Vatican Library, flips through a letter written by Christopher Columbus that had been stolen from its archives, returned by U.S. Homeland Security officials and American ambassador to the Vatican Library, at the Vatican June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Pool
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A copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus, that had been stolen from Vatican archives and returned by United States to the Vatican Library, is seen displayed at the Vatican June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Pool
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U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich (L) and Archibishop Jean-Luis Brugues pose in front of a copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus, that had been stolen from Vatican archives and returned by United States to the Vatican Library, during a ceremony at the Vatican June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Pool
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A copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus, that had been stolen from Vatican archives and returned by United States to the Vatican Library, is seen displayed at the Vatican June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Pool
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A copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus, that had been stolen from Vatican archives and returned by United States to the Vatican Library, is seen displayed at the Vatican June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Pool
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A book published in 1493 of a Latin translation by Leandro di Cosco of the letter by Christopher Columbus describing his discoveries in the Americas, which was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona and sold for approximately $1 million U.S. dollars is shown in this photo provided June 6, 2018. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will return the letter to Spain after an investigation by ICE� Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the U.S. Attorney� Office for the District of Delaware led to the recovery of the stolen letter. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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A book published in 1493 of a Latin translation by Leandro di Cosco of the letter by Christopher Columbus describing his discoveries in the Americas, which was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona and sold for approximately $1 million U.S. dollars is shown in this photo provided June 6, 2018. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will return the letter to Spain after an investigation by ICE� Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the U.S. Attorney� Office for the District of Delaware led to the recovery of the stolen letter. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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A book published in 1493 of a Latin translation by Leandro di Cosco of the letter by Christopher Columbus describing his discoveries in the Americas, which was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona and sold for approximately $1 million U.S. dollars is shown in this photo provided June 6, 2018. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will return the letter to Spain after an investigation by ICE� Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the U.S. Attorney� Office for the District of Delaware led to the recovery of the stolen letter. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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A copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus that had been stolen from Vatican archives and returned by the United States to the Vatican Library, is pictured during a ceremony at the Vatican on June 14, 2018. (Photo by TONY GENTILE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read TONY GENTILE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Monsignor Cesare Pasini, chief of the Vatican Library, flips through a letter written by Christopher Columbus that had been stolen from its archives, and returned by the US Homeland Security officials and American ambassador to the Vatican Library on June 14, 2018 at the Vatican. (Photo by TONY GENTILE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read TONY GENTILE/AFP/Getty Images)
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A copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus that had been stolen from Vatican archives and returned by the United States to the Vatican Library, is pictured during a ceremony at the Vatican on June 14, 2018. (Photo by TONY GENTILE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read TONY GENTILE/AFP/Getty Images)
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A book published in 1493 of a Latin translation by Leandro di Cosco of the letter by Christopher Columbus describing his discoveries in the Americas, which was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona and sold for approximately $1 million U.S. dollars is shown in this photo provided June 6, 2018. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will return the letter to Spain after an investigation by ICE� Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the U.S. Attorney� Office for the District of Delaware led to the recovery of the stolen letter. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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One of the Latin letters, printed in Rome by Stephan Plannack in 1493, found its way into the Vatican Library. Known as the Columbus Letter, it is made up of eight pages, each about 18.5 cm by 12 cm.

But in 2011, an American expert in rare manuscripts received a Columbus letter for authentication and deemed it to be original.

The year before, the same expert had studied a Columbus Letter in the Vatican Library and suspected that it was a fake because, among other factors, its stitching marks did not match up with those on the binding.

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The letter in the United States, however, matched up perfectly to the binding marks of the leather cover of the letter he had studied in the Vatican.

The expert, who was not identified, notified Homeland Security art investigators, who began working quietly with Vatican inspectors and rare books experts.

They concluded that at some time after the authentic eight-page letter became part of the Vatican Library, someone took it out of its binding and replaced it with a forgery so good that no-one noticed.

“We do not know exactly when the substitution took place. We will probably never know who the forger was,” said Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, the Vatican’s chief archivist and librarian.

Homeland Security agents, who were present at Thursday’s handover, and their Vatican counterparts, coordinated the examination of the letters by other experts, including some at Princeton University.

Their investigations determined that the authentic Columbus letter had been sold to a New York book dealer by Marino Massimo De Caro, who Homeland Security defined as a “notorious Italian book thief.”

He is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Italy for the theft of some 4,000 ancient books and manuscripts from Italian libraries and private collections.

The authentic letter was purchased in 2004 by the late American collector David Parsons for $875,000. After the investigations, his widow agreed to voluntarily return the letter to the Vatican Library.

The letter is now worth about $1.2 million, officials at the handover ceremony said.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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China to impose 25 percent tariffs on 659 US goods worth $50 billion – AOL News


https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/15/china-to-impose-25-percent-tariffs-on-659-us-goods-worth-dollar50-billion/23460320/

China to impose 25 percent tariffs on 659 US goods worth $50 billion
AOL.COM 5 hrs ago
BEIJING, June 16 (Reuters) – China will impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 659 U.S. goods worth $50 billion in response to the U.S. announcement that it will levy tariffs on Chinese imports, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

Tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods including agricultural products such as soybeans will take effect from July 6, the ministry said. Soybeans are China’s biggest import from the United States by value.

The tariffs will also be applied to autos and aquatic products, the ministry said.

The list of 659 U.S. goods was longer than a preliminary list of 106 goods published by the commerce ministry in April, although the value of products affected remained unchanged at $50 billion.

Aircraft, included in the earlier Chinese list, were not on the revised list.

The effective date of the tariffs on the remaining $16 billion of U.S. goods will be announced later, according to the commerce ministry. Among the affected $16 billion in U.S. goods include crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, in a move that looks set to ignite a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump said the tariffs would be imposed on a list of strategically important imports from China. He also vowed further measures if Beijing struck back.

“The U.S. has ignored China’s resolute opposition and solemn representation, and has insisted on adopting behaviors that violate WTO rules,” China’s commerce ministry said.

“This is a violation of the legitimate rights and interests that China is entitled to according to WTO rules, and is a threat to China’s economic interest and security.”

(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Stella Qiu; editing by David Evans)

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Watch “La Increible y Triste historia de la Cándida Erendira” on YouTube


My pot with flowers today


My pot with flowers today

My pot with flowers today

Sherwin Lakes is something to experience at sunset!


Sherwin Lakes is something to experience at sunset!

Sherwin Lakes is something to experience at sunset!

List of open-source health software


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_health_software?wprov=sfla1

Today’s Holiday: Magna Carta Day


Today’s Holiday:
Magna Carta Day

The Magna Carta was the “great charter” of English liberties, which the tyrannical King John I was forced to sign on June 15, 1215. Although this day does not appear in the official calendar of any church, it is a day of great religious significance throughout the English-speaking world. One of the 48 personal rights and liberties guaranteed by the Magna Carta was freedom of worship; in fact, the opening words of the document were, “The Church of England shall be free.” It is regarded as one of the most important documents in the history of political and human freedom. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Ion Victor Antonescu (1882)


Today’s Birthday:
Ion Victor Antonescu (1882)

Antonescu was dictator of Romania during World War II when his country was part of the Axis. He had a close relationship with Adolf Hitler, who lauded the Romanian’s “breadth of vision.” Antonescu ordered the 1941 Odessa Massacre that claimed the lives of at least 25,000 Jews, though some estimates suggest an even higher death toll. In 1944, Antonescu was overthrown in a coup and later convicted of war crimes and executed. In his final letter to his wife, what did Antonescu encourage her to do? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: The Battle of Saipan Begins (1944)


This Day in History:
The Battle of Saipan Begins (1944)

With an approximate area of just 45 sq mi (117 sq km), the island of Saipan was the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II. The US invasion in mid-June surprised the Japanese, who had expected an attack farther south. After a month of brutal fighting, the US captured Saipan and made the island a base for air attacks on the Japanese mainland. About 22,000 Saipan civilians—the majority of the population—died during the battle. Why did many commit suicide? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Ralph Waldo Emerson


Quote of the Day:
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era.

More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Oil Lamps


Article of the Day:
Oil Lamps

The use of oil lamps—simple vessels that use fuel sources such as olive oil to produce light—extends from prehistory to the present day, though they have been largely replaced by electric lighting and are now generally used for mood lighting or as an alternative to candles during power outages. The first oil lamps were made of naturally occurring objects, such as coconuts, shells, and stones. Later advances led to the production of clay and metal lamps. How do various religions use oil lamps? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: memory lane


Idiom of the Day:
memory lane

A set or series of memories of one’s past life, likened to a roadway that one may visit or take a tour of. (Used primarily in the phrase “stroll/take a trip/walk etc. down memory lane.”) Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: baseless


Word of the Day:
baseless

Definition: (adjective) Having no basis or foundation in fact.
Synonyms: groundless, unfounded, unwarranted, idle, wild
Usage: The governor has released a statement calling the reports of corruption completely baseless and without merit.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Ichirō Tsuruta


Ichirō Tsuruta

Ichirō Tsuruta

It’s gonna be okay!


“Tree alley in Varengeville”.(1882) by Claude Monet.(1840-1926).French impressionist Musée Marmottan/Paris


“Tree alley in Varengeville”.(1882) by Claude Monet.(1840-1926).French impressionist Musée Marmottan/Paris

FBI official vowed to ‘stop’ Donald Trump from reaching White House — but bias didn’t affect investigations, says DOJ watchdog – AOL News


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-pol-doj-report-fbi-agents-20180614-story.html

FBI official vowed to ‘stop’ Donald Trump from reaching White House — but bias didn’t affect investigations, says DOJ watchdog
AOL.COM 3 hrs ago
An FBI official assured his colleague they would “stop” Trump from making it to the White House in a 2016 text revealed Thursday in a report from the Justice Department’s ethics watchdog.

In an exchange sure to fire up President Trump’s supporters, an FBI investigator who worked on both the Clinton email case and the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, told agency lawyer Lisa Page that “we’ll stop it.”

“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote to agent Peter Strzok.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

The pair’s texts have become fodder for conservative conspiracy theories that the FBI was biased against President Trump during the election.

However, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz did not find that opinions the two shared with one another “directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed,” according to a report set to be released Thursday afternoon and obtained by Bloomberg.

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed,” Horowitz’s report conclusions reads, according to Bloomberg. “The conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

Trump and others have has publicly attacked the pair. The President dubbed them “the incompetent & corrupt FBI lovers” in a tweet.

The President last month openly asked why Strzok was still employed at the FBI.

“Why is Peter S still there? What a total mess. Our Country has to get back to Business!” he tweeted.

Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia probe after earlier texts, which included criticisms of both Democrats and Republicans, became public and Page has since left the DOJ.

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Pisoiul pierdut al unei fetițe din Făgăraș, viral pe Internet – Buna Ziua Fagaras


http://www.bunaziuafagaras.info/pisoiul-pierdut-al-unei-fetite-din-fagaras-viral-pe-internet-2/

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Pisoiul pierdut al unei fetițe din Făgăraș, viral pe Internet
Iun 13th, 2018 | de Buna Ziua Fagaras | Categoria: Social
Un pisoi de doar 3 luni este dat în „urmărire generală” de mica lui stăpână cu inimă mare.

Fetița de 10 ani l-a desenat și l-a lipit pe unul dintre stâlpii de electricitate de pe strada Andrei Mureșanu, în speranța că cineva îl va recunoaște și îl va înapoia.

„Pisic gri, siamez, cu urechile și coada negre. Este micuț! Cu ochii albaștri și este pufos. Returnați la numărul de telefon 0764 389099”, putem citi pe afiș.

Impresionat de pierderea micuței, un vecin a fotografiat cererea și a postat-o pe Facebook. Postarea a fost distribuită de numeroase ori în scurt timp, după ce copilul a reușit să topească inimile făgărășenilor.

Siamezul, care a venit pe lume de Paște, a dispărut în urmă cu două zile. Mama fetiței spune că „era foarte atașată de acel pisicuț, eu m-aș bucura să-l găsim pentru că ne plăcea tare mult”.

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Etichete: cautare, gest, Pisica

ROMÂNIA VA FI FĂCUTĂ PRAF!!!! PREGĂTEŞTE-TE DE RĂZBOI CU CIUMA ROŞIE SAU VEI PLECA DIN ŢARĂ!


ROMÂNIA VA FI FĂCUTĂ PRAF!!!! PREGĂTEŞTE-TE DE RĂZBOI CU CIUMA ROŞIE SAU VEI PLECA DIN ŢARĂ!

Vor să o facă rapid, cu o zi înainte de condamnarea lui Dragnea. Vor să se mişte repede, Tăriceanu o să preia temporar funţia de preşedinte şi o să semneze revocarea lui Koveşi de la DNA şi Horodniceanu de la DIICOT, o să promulge legile justiţiei şi o să numească peste tot procurorii lor, slugi umile.

ROMÂNIA VA FI FĂCUTĂ PRAF!!!! PREGĂTEŞTE-TE DE RĂZBOI CU CIUMA ROŞIE SAU VEI PLECA DIN ŢARĂ!

Today’s Birthday: Donald Trump Birthday: As President Turns 72, Here’s a Look at How He’s Celebrated in the Past


http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-turns-72-week-heres-how-hes-celebrated-past-973005

U.S.
DONALD TRUMP BIRTHDAY: AS PRESIDENT TURNS 72, HERE’S A LOOK AT HOW HE’S CELEBRATED IN THE PAST
By Paul Leblanc On Thursday, June 14, 2018 – 04:00
RTX68I31
U.S. President Donald Trump blows out the candle on his birthday cake as he attends a lunch with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018.
PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, SINGAPORE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

President Donald Trump will turn 72 Thursday, but the celebration has already started. Singaporean officials surprised the president with a birthday cake lunch Monday while he was in the country for the historic North Korea summit.

“Celebrating birthday,” Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs tweeted. “A bit early.”

While the White House did not respond to Newsweek’s inquiry into Trump’s plans for Thursday, here is a look at how the president has celebrated in past years.

Trump’s 71st birthday, June 14, 2017, was the same day a gunman opened fire on Republican congressman on a baseball field in D.C. Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, was wounded during the incident but made a full recovery. Trump spent the day responding to the attack. “Congressman Scalise is a freind, and a very good friend,” Trump said in a press conference the day of the shooting. “He’s a patriot and he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault and Steve, I want you to know you have the prayers of not only an entire city behind you, but of an entire nation.”

RTX68I44

Before Trump became president, his birthday parties had a reputation for extravagance. His 42nd birthday was hosted at one of his casinos, according to the Washington Post, and featured “a 15-foot spaceship zooming from the stage to hover amid smoke and flashing lasers.”

The party also reportedly had “magicians and dancers performing to a version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ reworked to honor the real estate mogul.”

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In 1993, Trump’s birthday card appeared to show him on a throne with the caption, “The Birthday Celebration Of The Ages Starring Renaissance Man Donald J. Trump.”

Trump has also not been shy about celebrating his own birthday in the past on social media. “Today is my birthday,” he wrote in 2012. “My wish is for our country to be great and prosperous again.” In 2009, Trump directed people to his Facebook page to wish him happy birthday. “Today is Donald Trump’s Birthday!” his tweet said.

In April, Trump told Fox News he had not yet given First Lady Melania Trump a present for her birthday. “I better not get into that ‘cause I may get in trouble. Maybe I didn’t get her so much,” he said. Trump added that he did get her “a beautiful card and some beautiful flowers,” and that he was “very busy to be running out looking for presents.”

The GOP also circulated a digital birthday card supporters could sign. “Make President Donald Trump’s birthday one he will never forget,” the website said. To sign the card, supporters must enter their email to be added to a promotional email list.

Trump was the oldest president at the start of his administration at 70 years old. Previously, Ronald Reagan held the title when he started his term in office at 69.

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Today’s Holiday: Flag Day (United States)


Today’s Holiday:
Flag Day (United States)

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that established June 14 as Flag Day in 1916, but it didn’t become official until 1949. This occurred as a result of a campaign by Bernard J. Cigrand and the American Flag Day Association. It is observed across the country by displaying the American flag on homes and public buildings. Other popular ways of observing this day include flag-raising ceremonies, the singing of the national anthem, and the study of flag etiquette and the flag’s origin and meaning. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Falklands War: Argentine Forces Surrender to the British (1982)


This Day in History:
Falklands War: Argentine Forces Surrender to the British (1982)

Both Argentina and Britain had long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean when, despite ongoing negotiations, Argentina invaded the islands with 10,000 troops in April 1982. About 250 British soldiers and about 700 Argentines died before Argentina surrendered, ending the undeclared, 74-day war. The defeat discredited Argentina’s military government and helped lead to the restoration of civilian rule in 1983. Who claims sovereignty over the islands today? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Stephen Crane


Quote of the Day:
Stephen Crane

A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “That fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”

More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: The Scytale


Article of the Day:
The Scytale

Said to have been utilized in ancient Greek military campaigns, the scytale is a cryptographic tool used in the creation and deciphering of transposition ciphers. It consists of a cylindrical rod around which a strip of paper or leather is wound. Because the message is written upon the wound strip, it appears as an illegible jumble of letters to anyone who does not bear a scytale of the appropriate diameter. Why do some question the veracity of Plutarch’s early description of the scytale? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: meet (someone’s) expectations


Idiom of the Day:
meet (someone’s) expectations

To be as good as or have the qualities that someone predicted, expected, or hoped for. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: incarcerate


Word of the Day:
incarcerate

Definition: (verb) Lock up or confine, in or as in a jail.
Synonyms: immure, imprison, jail, jug, put behind bars, remand, lag, put away
Usage: It can cost huge sums to incarcerate a prisoner for a year.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Watch “Demi Lovato – Stone Cold (Official Video)” on YouTube


Watch “The Doors – Soul Kitchen” on YouTube


Backroads Trip of the Week: Mediterranean vibe, you’re going to love Santa Barbara California.


Backroads Trip of the Week:  Mediterranean vibe, you’re going to love Santa Barbara California.

Backroads Trip of the Week: Mediterranean vibe, you’re going to love Santa Barbara California.


Backroads Trip of the Week! If you’re a fan of warm sunshine, coastal bike rides, citrus trees, sinking your feet into sandy beaches and soaking up a laid back Mediterranean vibe, you’re going to love Santa Barbara California. Uniquely situated on a south-facing shoreline between the sparkling waves of the Pacific and the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains, this “American Riviera” offers an idyllic and rejuvenating escape any time of year. Paired with the farmer’s markets, scenic foothills and small-town charm of nearby Ojai, our Santa Barbara & Ojai Bike Trip captures the very best of this golden corner of America. This is the trip! https://bit.ly/2HyDWX3

Want to see a detailed itinerary? https://bit.ly/2JHyTsk

Half of Americans back Trump’s handling of North Korea – Reuters/Ipsos poll – AOL News


https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/13/half-of-americans-back-trumps-handling-of-north-korea-reutersipsos-poll/23458437/

My Chakra today


My Chakra today

My Chakra today

My pot with flowers today


My pot with flowers today

My pot with flowers today

My birds on the wire today


My birds on the wire today

My birds on the wire today

My Duck today


My Duck today

My Duck today

Watch “Could have been one of these things first” on YouTube


Most romantic music: Watch “The most Romantic Music by Antonin Dvorak. American Suite in A, opus 98b.” on YouTube


Eguisheim, Alsace, France (photo by Quan Engine) via: https://bit.ly/2J52RGu


Eguisheim, Alsace, France (photo by Quan Engine)
via: https://bit.ly/2J52RGu

Eguisheim, Alsace, France (photo by Quan Engine) via: https://bit.ly/2J52RGu

Rome (Roma) !


Rome (Roma) !

Rome (Roma) !

I am a Ghost, I am Invisible…


I am a Ghost, I am Invisible...

I am a Ghost, I am Invisible…

I’m with FoxNews and appreciate our President, Donald Trump!


I’m with FoxNews and appreciate our President, Donald Trump!

Puneti STOP la posibilitatea incalcării legilor, cu ușurința cu care se petrece azi prin politicienii PSD, ALDE: Watch “Starea Naţiei: Constituție sau lovitură de stat?” on YouTube


Watch “FULL VIDEO: Trump and Kim Hold Nuclear Summit | NYT News” on YouTube


Your Wi-Fi Security Is Probably Weak. Here’s How to Fix That. – The New York Times


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/technology/personaltech/wi-fi-router-security.html
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TECH FIX

Your Wi-Fi Security Is Probably Weak. Here’s How to Fix That.
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CreditMinh Uong/The New York Times
By Brian X. Chen
June 13, 2018

Chances are that when you bought a Wi-Fi router, you probably did not prioritize strong network security.

After all, when we think about wireless connectivity in our homes, most of us generally care more about speed of data transmissions and how much range the router can cover.

But it’s time to change our views. Network security needs to be high on our list of considerations because a Wi-Fi station is the gateway for devices to get on the internet. If your router is infected with malicious software, all your internet-connected devices become vulnerable, including your smartphone, computer, smart watch, television and Amazon Echo.

A recent cyberthreat underscores the need to take network security more seriously. Last month, Cisco’s threat research arm Talos, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, discovered that a malware system with links to Russia had infected hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi routers made by popular brands like Netgear, TP-Link and Linksys. This month, Talos revealed the problem was even worse than initially thought: Routers from other brands like Asus and D-Link had also been infected.

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That means base stations from every well-known router brand were a target for this malware, known as VPNFilter, which is capable of manipulating your web traffic. Attackers could use it to load a fake banking site on your computer browser that looks like the one you normally use and steal your credentials and clean out your bank accounts. They could also load spoof versions of an email site you use to steal your password and gain access to your communications.

Netgear, D-Link and Linksys said they advised people to install the latest security updates and to choose strong usernames and passwords. TP-Link and Asus did not respond to requests for comment.

Our remedy? For starters, make sure your Wi-Fi station is always running the latest version of its “firmware,” or software system, just as you are supposed to keep operating systems up-to-date for your smartphone and computer. In a 2014 survey of I.T. professionals and employees who work remotely conducted by the security firm Tripwire, only 32 percent said they knew how to update their routers with the latest firmware.

“Most consumers don’t know to patch these things,” said Matt Watchinski, a senior director of Cisco Talos, who helped research the VPNFilter malware. “They don’t treat it like they do their air-conditioner or refrigerator, where we all know we should change the filters.”

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Here’s a guide to some of the best practices you can embrace to ensure that your router — and, by extension, all your internet gadgets — is safe.

Routinely update the firmware
Even though a router lacks moving parts, it needs to be maintained with the latest security updates. Easier said than done, right? Here is a basic step-by-step for how to do that:

■ Consult the instruction manual for your router to get its IP address, a string of numbers that you will punch into a web browser for access to the router’s web dashboard. Jot down the number and store it somewhere safe like your filing cabinet.

■ After entering the router’s IP address into a web browser, log in to the base station with your username and password. In the router’s web dashboard, click on the firmware settings. Look for a button that lets you check for the latest firmware version.

■ If an update is available, choose to install it and let the router restart. Repeat this process every three to six months.

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Set a unique username and password
When you log in to your router, if your username and password are something like “admin” and “password,” you have a problem. Many Wi-Fi stations come with weak, generic passwords by default that manufacturers intend for you to change.

The problem with having a weak username and password is that anybody within range of your router could log in to it and change its settings, potentially opening it up to the outside world, said Dave Fraser, chief executive of Devicescape, a company that helps make public Wi-Fi networks more reliable for mobile phone service.

So while you are checking for firmware updates in your router’s web dashboard, make sure to also check your security settings and change the username and password to something strong and unique. Security experts recommend creating long, complex passwords consisting of nonsensical phrases and added numbers and special characters. (Examples: My fav0rite numb3r is Gr33n4782# or The cat ate the C0TT0n candy 224%.) Write down these credentials on the same piece of paper where you recorded your IP address.

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Replace your router every few years
Even if your router still appears to work properly, the device has reached the end of its life when manufacturers stop supporting it with firmware updates, leaving it vulnerable to future cyberthreats. You can expect this to happen every three to five years. At that point, it is crucial to upgrade to a new piece of hardware.

The best way to check is to look up your router on the manufacturer’s website and read notes about its firmware releases. If there hasn’t been a firmware update in the last year, the router has probably been discontinued.

Among the routers affected by the VPNFilter malware, a significant portion of them were more than five years old, said Cisco’s Mr. Watchinski.

How did we get here in the first place? Historically, manufacturers have designed routers by cobbling together open-source software platforms with commodity components to produce base stations as cheaply as possible — with little care for long-term security, Mr. Fraser said.

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“It is a miserable situation, and it has been from day one,” he said. But Mr. Fraser added that there were now “new world” routers with operating systems, tougher security and thoughtful features to make network management easy.

If it is time to update your router, rid yourself of some of these headaches by looking for a smarter router. Check for Wi-Fi systems that offer automatic updates to spare you the headache of having to check and download updates periodically. Many modern Wi-Fi systems include automatic updates as a feature. My favorite ones are Eero and Google Wifi, which can easily be set up through smartphone apps.

The caveat is that smarter Wi-Fi systems tend to cost more than cheap routers that people are accustomed to. Eero’s base stations start at $199, and a Google Wifi station costs $119, compared with $50 for a cheap router. For both of these systems, you can also add base stations throughout the home to extend their wireless connections, creating a so-called mesh network.

Another bonus? Mr. Fraser noted that more modern Wi-Fi systems should have longer life spans because the companies sometimes relied on different revenue streams, like selling subscriptions to network security services.

Brian X. Chen, our lead consumer technology reporter, writes Tech Fix, a column about solving tech-related problems like sluggish Wi-Fi, poor smartphone battery life and the complexity of taking your smartphone abroad. What confuses you or makes you angry about your tech? Send your suggestions for future Tech Fix columns to brian.chen@nytimes.com.

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Trump-Kim summit: How many US soldiers are buried in North Korea? – BBC News


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44455104

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Trump-Kim summit: How many US soldiers are buried in North Korea?
By Reality Check team
BBC News
12 June 2018
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Related TopicsReality Check
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
The two leaders signed the agreement at their historic summit in Singapore
During the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the US and North Korea committed to recovering the remains of American troops missing in action during the Korean War.

Thousands of US military personnel remain unaccounted for. The number varies from state-to-state. For example 431 Texans and 593 Californians are unaccounted for, while there is one man from Alaska on the list of missing.

Most of them – about 5,300 – were lost in what is now North Korea, according to the US defence agency that oversees the process of recovering the remains of American troops.

And the US Army says it knows exactly where many are buried.

Fighting stopped in 1953 – but technically the two Koreas remain at war. The conflict ended with an armistice agreement not a peace treaty.

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American-led UN forces, including troops from the UK, supported the South, while Chinese forces joined the war on the North’s side.

Estimates vary, but at least two million Korean civilians, up to 1.5 million communist and about 400,000 South Korean, 30,000 US and 1,000 UK service personnel are believed to have died.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
The 187th Infantry Regiment regimental combat team in May 1951
Why raise this issue now?
For years, teams of American researchers and scientists, with the help of North Koreans, uncovered and returned the remains of US troops found in North and South Korea.

Between 1996 and 2005, 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea and 200 sets of remains were returned. And the US government paid compensation to North Koreans involved in the relief effort, $15m (£11m) according to the Congressional Research Service.

Another six sets of remains were returned in a one-off operation in 2007.

But joint operations have stalled for more than a decade because the US government said it could not guarantee the safety of the investigators.

And in 2012, the US Army said it had suspended efforts to find the remains of US servicemen due to North Korean threats to launch a ballistic missile.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
South Koreans marking the 64th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement
The remains of soldiers are believed to be in:

prisoner of war camps – many perished during the winter of 1950
the sites of major battles, such as the areas around Unsan and Chongchon in the north-west of the country – said to contain approximately 1,600 dead
temporary UN military cemeteries – China and North Korea returned about 3,000 dead Americans in an effort called Operation Glory in 1954, but others remain
the demilitarised zone that separates North and South Korea – said to contain 1,000 bodies
In the past, North Korean defectors have been screened for information concerning Americans who might be alive in the North.

But since 1995, and after interviews with 25,000 North Korean defectors, no “useful information” has been revealed, according to the US.

Some American soldiers have lived in North Korea, though. Sgt Charles Jenkins, who defected to North Korea, returned to the US in 2004.

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The Search for Cancer Treatment Beyond Mutant-Hunting – The New York Times


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/magazine/the-search-for-cancer-treatment-that-is-personal-and-useful.html
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The Search for Cancer Treatment Beyond Mutant-Hunting
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CreditPhoto illustration by Cristiana Couceiro. Cells: National Cancer Institute, via Wikipedia.
By Siddhartha Mukherjee
June 13, 2018

On my way to a meeting on cancer and personalized medicine a few weeks ago, I found myself thinking, improbably, of the Saul Steinberg New Yorker cover illustration “View From Ninth Avenue.” Steinberg’s drawing (yes, you’ve seen it — in undergraduate dorm rooms, in subway ads) depicts a mental map of the world viewed through the eyes of a typical New Yorker. We’re somewhere on Ninth Avenue, looking out toward the water. Tenth Avenue looms large, thrumming with pedestrians and traffic. The Hudson is a band of gray-blue. But the rest of the world is gone — irrelevant, inconsequential, specks of sesame falling off a bagel. Kansas City, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are blips on the horizon. There’s a strip of water denoting the Pacific Ocean, and faraway blobs of rising land: Japan, China, Russia. The whole thing is a wry joke on self-obsession and navel gazing: A New Yorker’s world begins and ends in New York.

Image
CreditPhoto illustration by Cristiana Couceiro. Source Credit: Michael Bonert, via Wikimedia Commons.
In the mid-2000s, it felt to me, at times, as if cancer medicine were viewing the world from its own Ninth Avenue. Our collective vision was dominated by genomics — by the newfound capacity to sequence the genomes of cells (a “genome” refers to the complete set of genetic material present in an organism or a cell). Cancer, of course, is typically a disease caused by mutant genes that drive abnormal cellular growth (other features of cellular physiology, like the cell’s metabolism and survival, are also affected). By identifying the mutant genes in cancer cells, the logic ran, we would devise new ways of killing the cells. And because the exact set of mutations was unique to an individual patient — one woman’s breast cancer might have mutations in 12 genes, while another breast cancer might have mutations in a different set of 16 — we would “personalize” cancer medicine to that patient, thereby vastly increasing the effectiveness of therapy.

This kind of thinking had an exhilarating track record. In the 2000s, a medicine called Herceptin was shown to be effective for women with breast cancer, but only if the cancer cells carried a genetic aberration in a gene called HER-2. Another drug, Gleevec, worked only if the tumor cells had a mutant gene called BCR-ABL, or a mutation in a gene called c-kit. In many of our genome-obsessed minds, the problem of cancer had become reduced to a rather simple, scalable algorithm: find the mutations in a patient, and match those mutations with a medicine. All the other variables — the cellular environment within which the cancer cell was inescapably lodged, the metabolic and hormonal milieu that surrounded the cancer or, for that matter, the human body that was wrapped around it — might as well have been irrelevant blobs receding in the distance: Japan, China, Russia.

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To bring the promise of mutation-directed therapies to life, researchers began two kinds of trials. The first was called a “basket trial,” in which different forms of cancer (e.g., lung, breast and stomach) containing the same mutations were treated with the same drug — in essence, lumping genetically similar cancers into the same “basket.” The obverse of the basket trial was an “umbrella trial.” Here, one kind of cancer — say, lung cancer or melanoma — was divided into different subtypes based on genetic mutations, and each subtype was targeted by a different medicine. Under a seemingly common umbrella — lung cancer, say — genetically distinct tumors would be treated with therapeutically distinct drugs.

Basket trials worked — somewhat. In one landmark study published in 2015, 122 patients with several different types of cancer — lung, colon, thyroid — were found to have the same mutation in common, and thus treated with the same drug, vemurafenib. The drug worked in some cancers — there was a 42 percent response rate in lung cancer — but not at all in others: Colon cancers had a 0 percent response rate. More recent basket trials with newer drugs have demonstrated striking, even durable, response rates, although the mutations targeted by the drugs are relatively rare across all human cancers.

And the umbrella trials? The record here was also mixed — and, to some, disappointing. In the so-called BATTLE-2 study, patients with lung cancer were divided into different groups based on gene sequencing, and each group was treated with four different drug combinations. The hope was that patients with tumors that contained a mutant version of a gene called K-ras would be uniquely susceptible to one particular drug combination (preclinical data, gathered in mice, suggested that this combination would be potent in these patients). But the laborious strategy deployed in this study — biopsying the tumor, sequencing it and then dividing the patients into mutation-guided treatments — provided few novel therapeutic inroads. In general, patients carrying mutations in the K-ras gene, a key driver of cancer growth, did not survive longer when given the combined drug therapy. “Ultimately,” one reviewer commented, “the trial failed to identify any new promising treatments.” Sequencing, it seemed, had made us none the wiser about treatment.

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The disappointments of these early studies fueled public criticisms of precision medicine. Perhaps we had been seduced by the technology of gene sequencing — by the sheer wizardry of being able to look at a cancer’s genetic core and the irresistible desire to pierce that core with targeted drugs. “We biomedical scientists are addicted to data, like alcoholics are addicted to cheap booze,” Michael Yaffe, a cancer biologist from M.I.T., wrote in the journal Science Signaling. “As in the old joke about the drunk looking under the lamppost for his lost wallet, biomedical scientists tend to look under the sequencing lamppost where the ‘light is brightest’ — that is, where the most data can be obtained as quickly as possible. Like data junkies, we continue to look to genome sequencing when the really clinically useful information may lie someplace else.”

It’s that vision of “someplace else” — a view of the world beyond Ninth Avenue — that oncologists and patients are now seeking. Mutations within a cancer cell certainly carry information about its physiology — its propensity for growth, its vulnerabilities, its potential to cause lethal disease — but there’s a world of information beyond mutations. To grow and flourish within its human host, the cancer cell must co-opt dozens, or even thousands, of nonmutant genes to its purpose — turning these genes “on” and “off,” like a pathological commander who has hijacked a ship and is now using all its normal gears and levers to take a new, malignant course. And the cell must live in a particular context within its host — dodging the immune system, colonizing some tissues and not others, metastasizing to very particular sites: bones but not kidneys for some cancers; liver but not the adjacent spleen for others. What if the “really clinically useful information” lies within these domains — in the networks of normal genes co-opted by cancer cells, in the mechanisms by which they engage with their host’s immune system or in the metabolic inputs that a cell needs to integrate in order to grow?

At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago this year, it was this altered — and more expansive — vision of precision cancer medicine that was on display. Perhaps the most significant among the presented studies was a very large clinical trial that identified breast cancers that were unlikely to benefit from chemotherapy based on information carried by patterns of gene expression — not single gene mutations — in cancer cells. By identifying tumors that carry these “safer” genetic fingerprints, the study hopes to reduce the use of toxic, expensive — and ineffective — chemo for tens of thousands of women every year. This, too, is precision medicine: Our capacity to find women who should not be lumped into the basket of standard chemotherapy must rank among one of the most worthwhile goals of personalized cancer therapy. Other teams at ASCO reported responses to new generations of drugs that enable the immune system to attack certain cancers, beginning an intensive search for biological markers on cancer cells that predict which tumors are likely to respond (hint: It may not be a single gene mutation).

The point is that precision medicine is not just precision mutant-hunting. It may be decidedly low-tech and may apply to conditions other than cancer. In orthopedics, precision medicine might involve finding an anatomical variant in some shoulders that have sustained fractures, say, that predicts that conventional shoulder surgery will not succeed for those patients. It might invoke gene sequencing again — but this time with computational algorithms that use combinations of genes to predict outcomes (Does A plus B without C predict a response to a drug?). Or it might skip gene sequencing altogether: In my own laboratory, a postdoctoral researcher is trying to grow cancer cells from individual patients in the form of tiny “organoids” — three-dimensional cellular structures that recapitulate living tumors — and testing thousands of drugs to find ones that might work in these organoids before deploying them on patients.

These strategies must, of course, be tested in randomized clinical trials to see if they provide benefit. Can they be deployed at reasonable costs? Will the benefits have an impact on a public scale? But the reinvention of cancer therapy needs time, patience and diligence — and, yes, skepticism. By narrowing our definition of precision medicine too much, we almost narrowed our ambition to deliver precise, thoughtful therapy — or, at times, no therapy — to our patients. It would be a shame to view cancer through such narrow lenses again.

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” and, more recently, “The Gene: An Intimate History.”

A version of this article appears in print on June 16, 2018, on Page 12 of the Sunday Magazine. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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